Two more Munster teams go head to head on Saturday in the second of our Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Championship Quarter-Finals to see who will join Galway and Kilkenny in the Semi-Finals in two weeks time!
Tipperary v Waterford, Páirc Uí Chaoimh, 2:45pm. John Dermody (Westmeath)
Group 3 winners Tipperary make it back to the knockout stages after two impressive showings en route to this stage. It continues to be an impressive year for the Premier County, and they have carried over their extraordinary form from the start of the year into their Championship campaign.
First up for Bill Mullaney’s tribe was a home fixture against their Munster counterparts Clare in what turned out to be a very impressive performance despite going down to 14 players for the final 10 minutes of the match.
Having qualified for the Semi-Finals for the last two seasons, their experience showed through from the first whistle using the aid of a strong wind to secure a 0-13 to 0-4 lead at the interval. Dual star Aisling Moloney chipped in with vital scores from her midfield position while the ever reliable Cáit Devane showed yet again her class in front of the posts.
The second-half proved similar to the first with the home side closing out the game by knocking over another seven points. The only blemish in the campaign to date came after 50 minutes when Moloney, who had a mightily impressive match to that point, was red carded for an off the ball infringement, meaning she would miss the remaining group match and also this weekend’s fixture.
As it turned out they had more than enough firepower in the side to cope with her absence as they overcame the Dubs on opposition soil in their second group outing. Unlike their first game, this one was a much closer affair with only five points separating the sides at the final whistle.
Their 1-13 to 0-11 victory meant progression to the knockout stages as table toppers and they have set up a mouth-watering clash against another of their Munster counterparts Waterford.
An Déise are also making a habit of qualifying for the knockout stages having secured the same status last season. This year it came after finishing in second place in Group 2 which featured Kilkenny, Westmeath and Limerick.
An opening round defeat at home to Kilkenny may have disappointed the side but the seven-point margin only spurred on the Munster side in their remaining group fixtures.
Their next outing was mightily impressive, easily defeating Limerick by 2-15 to 0-9 thanks to two goals from Player of the Match Niamh Rockett.
All-Star Beth Carton also produced a clinical display in front of the posts for the Blue and Whites, meaning one more victory over Westmeath would be enough to secure their passage to the knockout stages.
Knowing the task at hand, Waterford went about their business in the last fixture with great effect, scoring 2-17 and conceding just 10 points to last year’s Intermediate champions Westmeath. Another fantastic performance from Carton (1-14) put the Leinster side to the sword who will go into this weekend’s Quarter-Final full of confidence.
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